Tropical Park Derby (gr. III)

(gr. IIIT , 9f ,)

KITTEN'S JOY (CH h, 119 lb) $60,000
El Prado (IRE) —Kitten's First , by Lear Fan
B—Sarah K. Ramsey, KY.; O—Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K.; T—Dale L. Romans

Broadway View (DK B/ g, 112 lb) $20,000
Broad Brush —Double Sixes , by Gone West
B—Alice du Pont Mills, KY.; O—Sidney Sacks; T—Gerald Procino

Soverign Honor (DK B/ g, 117 lb) $11,000
Double Honor —Pyramid Princess , by Sovereign Dancer
B—Billie L. Gladwell, FL.; O—James Chin; T—Jose Pinchin

Margins: 4½, neck, head. Others: Milestone Victory 114($6,000) , Imperialism 115($3,000) , Commendation 119 , Up Anchor 117 , Timo 122 , Potomac Chase 115 , Wasabi Cat 113 , Global Arena 112 . Winning Jockey, Jerry D. Bailey.

“Like baseball’s Yogi Berra once said, it’s déj`a vu all over again,” said breeder/owner Ken Ramsey after he and his wife, Sarah, won the Tropical Park Derby (gr. IIIT) for the second consecutive year.

The couple’s latest winner of the Tropical Park Derby, run Jan. 1 at Calder Race Course, was homebred Kitten’s Joy, a son of El Prado. Last year’s winner was homebred Nothing to Lose.

The Ramseys enjoyed particular good fortune around the first of the year. “The four horses that we ran in stakes either won or ran second or third,” Ken Ramsey said.

On the same card as the Tropical Park Derby, their Last Waltz ran third in the Tropical Park Oaks. At Turfway Park, Degenerate Gambler ran second in the Jan. 3 Turfway Prevue Stakes, and Dubai Sheikh finished second in the Dec. 27 Holiday Cheer Stakes.

“I’m not going to tell who Degenerate Gambler was named after,” chuckled Ramsey, who isn’t adverse to betting his horses.

Kitten’s Joy’s dam, Kitten’s First, remains special to the Ramseys. Sarah Ramsey’s middle name is Kathern. “I started calling her Kitten before we were married,” Ramsey said.

Kitten’s First was purchased by Sarah Ramsey for $41,000 at the 1993 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s March sale of 2-year-olds in training from El Nino Farm and turned over to trainer Bill Mott. She beat males at Belmont Park as a 2-year-old that summer in her first start, then injured herself in the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park in her next race.

“She broke a hip and was vanned off,” Ken Ramsey said. “The vet thought she would have to be put down, but we were able to get her on her feet with the assistance of about six or seven men and she was able to stand on her own.”

Kitten’s First is kept at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. Her youngest offspring is a yearling filly by Catienus, who stood at the farm before being relocated to Highcliff Farm in New York. Kitten’s First is in foal to Catienus. Ramsey hopes to send Kitten’s First to El Prado this year.

As much as Ramsey, a Kentucky native, wants to win the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), he plans to keep Kitten’s Joy on the grass. Kitten’s Joy might run next in the Feb. 21 Palm Beach Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park. Nothing to Lose won the race last year. Nothing to Lose currently is based in Southern California with trainer Bobby Frankel.

The Ramseys tried to sell Kitten’s Joy through Shadybrook Farm, agent, at the 2003 OBS April sale of 2-year-olds in training. Kitten’s Joy did not reach his reserve and was bought back for $95,000.

El Prado has sired 47 stakes winners. His 16 stakes winners of 2003 include Medaglia d’Oro (gr. I), Spanish Sun (Eng-II), Senor Swinger (gr. IIIT), El Prado Essence (Can-III), and Mi Pradera (PR-I). El Prado is owned by a partnership and stands at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Kentucky near Midway. His 2004 fee is $75,000.—D.S.